After Austin graduated, I went on vacation to St. Thomas with my mom and best friend. Austin was still in Baton Rouge looking for jobs.
In mid June, I spent three days and nights with Austin. Thursday night was the first time we saw each other since I got back from St. Thomas. I really missed him. When I left for vacation, I honestly didn’t think I’d miss him, but I did. The three days we spent together were good, we didn’t even fight.
Austin was planning to leave for Dallas on a Friday. We planned to say our goodbyes on Wednesday. I didn’t expect to be as sad as I was. Ever since Austin and I broke up I battled up and down feelings for him. Some days I missed him, others I never thought about him. Some days I felt maybe I loved him. Others it was close to hatred.
There aren’t many things I found particularly intriguing or stunning about Austin. We fought more than I had ever fought with anyone. But I couldn’t get rid of him. But still, nothing felt worse than him leaving—I couldn’t have been more upset.
Austin made me laugh. He let me be me (or so I thought) and things were comfortable with him. There were some things that were wrong between us, but there was a lot that was right. At that point, Austin was the only man who’d ever really broken up with me instead of just ignoring me. After all the fights or disagreements he was still around.
Sadly, I was scared that when he moved to Dallas, he’d find someone else. She would be smarter than me and more girly and probably gorgeous. But mainly, she’d live in Dallas. And that’s something I could never offer Austin. He said he’ll miss me when he goes and I should visit him in July. However, I prepared myself for the worst—that being that he wouldn’t miss me and he would find someone else and we’d never talk again.
I never thought all of these feelings would come up. Austin was my last friend in Baton Rouge. I knew I’d be busy with work and school, so I thought that would help with the whole “missing” thing. There were things I wanted to tell Austin before he left, but I didn’t know if I should. So, I wrote him a letter:
I know you probably didn’t want things to get all cheesy when you left, but I really wanted to share some things with you. If I’ve learned anything about relationships, it’s to tell someone what you’re thinking before it’s too late.
As great as I may be with words, I’m horrible at expressing my feelings in person. So, the writer in me has probably been composing this letter for the past year.
I really want you to know, I really am going to miss you. No matter what I’ve said or told you, I will miss you being around! Anything I’ve said to make you feel otherwise is only a wall I’ve put up to avoid getting hurt again.
I couldn’t be more thankful of the relationship we’ve had: romantic and friendly. Although I habitually drop the “asshole” name on you, most of the time I don’t mean it.
Truthfully, of all the boyfriends I’ve had, you’re the only one who’s actually broken up with me as opposed to simply ignoring me. I do recognize the respect you’ve had for me and I’m really thankful for it.
As much as you might hate me for doing this, I can’t help but remember a few things. When my relationship before you was over, I’d gotten my heart broken for the first time by my best friend of five years. I thought things were over for me already.
But when you asked me out for dinner (in the stockroom) I was more shocked than ever. I didn’t know anything about you and didn’t know if we’d have anything to talk about. But it was one of the best first dates I’ve ever been on. What I remember most about those days are the small things: our Fat Joe song, carving our initials into the Caterie bar after doing shots of red snapper, the text messages, and our long phone conversations when we’d pretend to be exes and talk about ourselves.
Although things were good, I never thought we’d remain friends (what can I say, it’s not really my style). Most of my exes come back around, but I never put up with them. I guess I’ve got a soft spot for you, Austin!
But as sad as I am to see you go, I am really happy for you. I’m looking forward to hearing about your job and the new home.
By the time you read this, I’ve probably already shed a few tears and maybe even packs a bag for Dallas! But don’t miss me too much, Austin!
Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you…
I ended up rewriting the letter and giving it to Austin on our last night together, in Baton Rouge. That night, I cried when I left Austin’s house—ugly girl style.
The night was awkward and short. We didn’t meet each other for dinner until 8 and then we went back to his place and he was in bed, asleep by 10. As I laid there, with him asleep I couldn’t help but get upset for two reasons:
1. I took off work to see him tonight and he wanted to sleep?
2. Why do I think that way?
I am convinced I just wanted everything I can’t have. When I was at work I want to be at home. When I was at home or with someone I felt guilty for not being at work.
That was the last night I would see Austin for who knows how long and all I could do was be mad that I was “wasting” my time laying there. Why couldn’t I just be content laying there with him for one last time? I hated saying bye to people and I had to say bye to too many great people during the past month.
I didn’t know what to expect between Austin and I since we had never been this far apart. I didn’t know if he’d really call me or really want me to visit him once he got there.
I was so glad I wrote that letter. I left it by his bed since he was basically asleep when I left.
On Austin’s last night in Baton Rouge, I got home from work there were roses on my doorstep (3 red, 2 pink). There was also a thank you card with it and he wrote a beautiful letter inside. Of course, I cried like I had been for the previous four nights. But the things in the letter were very sweet and the flowers on my doorstep are something I’d always wanted.
I knew I’d miss Austin and think about him daily. But I also knew I was going to be okay.
Just two small words to express so much gratitude.
So this is it! I’m moving to Dallas! I still remember the time we went to Tsunami and what I had told you. I needed someone to be a backbone for me, someone to help me when I fall, someone to listen to my endless bitching! Well, months and months later, there you are. You have become that someone who I need. I can’t put into words all the bullshit I have put you through. For you to still be by my side is a wonder, in itself! Every relationship I have been involved in, I have learned something. But no relationship have I learned and gained so much from as ours. You have been there for me time and time again, even when you had every right not to be. Thank you Holly from the bottom of my heart. Dallas won’t be the ideal situation without you there. My dreams and ambitions take me far, I believe in myself and what I can do, and have no limits on achieving success. Thank you for being a part of these dreams and ambitions, you have helped me make them a reality! Please don’t forget what we have here, and I want a date ASAP for your trip to Dallas. More than anything, I will miss you!
Posted on November 19, 2010, in The Ingredients and tagged Austin, college, college life, Dallas, dating, drinking, heartbreak, Holly A. Phillips, How to Make Lemonade, life, love, relationships, sex, single, summer love, The Bitter Lemon, twenty-something, writing, young love. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.